The IRS has identified a new scam and issued a warning to tax preparers and financial institutions to help protect tax filers from becoming victims. Essentially, scammers are obtaining enough information about an individual to file a fake tax return on behalf of a victim. In some cases, the fraudster will actually have that fake return sent to the victim’s actual bank account. The fraudster then contacts the victim claiming to be a representative of the IRS or a debt collection agency on behalf of the IRS and requests that the victim send them the funds from the false return.
Click here to read the complete IRS news release, 'Tax Pros Urged to Step Up Security as Filing Scheme Emerges, Reminded to Report Data Thefts.'
Important Tax Time Tips
- It is good to remember that the IRS will never contact a tax filer by telephone or email. They only use the US Postal service to communicate with taxpayers.
- If you suspect your personal information has been hacked or a false return was made on your behalf, please call our member service team right away at 775-886-2060.
- Additional information from the IRS:
How to Reduce Your Risk from Identity Theft
- Always use security software with firewall and anti-virus protections. Use strong passwords.
- Learn to recognize and avoid phishing emails, threatening calls and texts from thieves posing as legitimate organizations such as your bank, credit card companies and even the IRS.
- Do not click on links or download attachments from unknown or suspicious emails.
- Protect your personal data. Don’t routinely carry your Social Security card, and make sure your tax records are secure.
See IRS Publication 4524, Security Awareness for Taxpayers, to learn more.